It's no secret that I hate homebrewing hoppy beers. I'm convinced that it's very, very difficult to brew good hoppy beers at home if you don't keg, and even then I'm still skeptical that they're ever at a near-commercial level. I have yet to have a good hoppy homebrew from anybody. Regardless, I still foolishly brew them because it's one of my fiance's favorite styles and, well, I'm just stubborn.
Most of my hoppy beers fall flat. They're muted and kind of blah even when they're young. I've tried water adjustments, yeast, hops, and just about everything else I can think of. This time I did a few things. First off, I found a talk from this year's NHC by Kelsey McNair who, if you don't know, has won something like 3 NHC gold medals for his IPA, Hop Fu!. He's going pro and this talk was about how to brew the perfect hoppy beer. I specifically focused on two things, the water profile he recommends and eliminating O2 which I think might be hurting my beers. The water profile was easy to hit with salts but eliminating O2 as much as possible took some thinking. I am planning on a post soon with my new (and probably crazy and unnecessary) method, but I did buy this portable CO2 cartridge dispenser to help me to purge headspace with CO2 when I sampled and bottled.
This recipe I came up with is pretty simple and focuses on two awesome hops, Citra and Nelson. I was hoping for a juicy pale ale that's crushable and really bright. I used late hopping, a hop stand and some super fresh hops from Farmhouse Supply to really drive the aroma. I like the idea of wheat in the grain bill to provide some softness. I'm not optimistic because I have yet to brew a great hoppy beer, but hopefully I'll be surprised!
Pale Ale #3
5 lb 2 Row
1 lb White wheat
0.5 oz Chinook (15 min)
0.5 oz Nelson (Flameout)
0.5 oz Citra (Flameout)
0.5 oz Nelson (180F)
0.5 oz Citra (180F)
1 oz Nelson (Dry Hop)
1 oz Citra (Dry Hop)
US05 at 66F ambient. Mashed at 150F.
OG 1.054 | FG 1.011 | ABV 5.8% | IBU 59
Ca 127 | Mg 2 | Na 0 | Cl 44 | SO4 227 | HCO3 38
8/15/15: Brewed. OG 1.049.
8/20/15: Sampled for gravity, purged headspace with CO2 cartridge and added Nelson and Citra dryhop.
8/26/15: Bottled with new O2 free bottling system.